Societal aspects

SCK-CEN, Belgium


Task 6.1: Development and testing a generic science-based methodology related to societal aspects: an open source qualitative and quantitative methods and scales to investigate affected populations’ and stakeholders’ risk perceptions, views, opinions, motivations, attitudes and behavior in radon and NORM exposures.

Leader: UA & SCK-CEN, PhD foreseen (M1-M59)

In order to investigate the opinions, views, attitudes and behaviours of affected populations and stakeholders in any EU country, an open source toolbox of qualitative and quantitative methods and scales will be developed, tested and made available in the form of a toolbox. The toolbox will be applicable before, during or after corrective measures (e.g. radon mitigation action or remediation), and they will be applied in the RadoNorm project.

In 6 subtasks a systematic collection, evaluation, development and testing of methods, databases (e.g. results of public opinion surveys), scales, protocols (e.g. focus groups or structured interviews) and other tools (e.g. stakeholder workshops) for investigating affected populations and stakeholders will be performed. To facilitate the application training courses are planned for authorities or other responsible organizations.

  • Subtask 6.1.1 Methodological state-of-the-art
  • Subtask 6.1.2 Development and testing of quantitative tools,
  • Subtask 6.1.3 Development and testing of qualitative tools
  • Subtask 6.1.4 Development of a comprehensive open database
  • Subtask 6.1.5 Development of methodological guidelines and toolbox
  • Subtask 6.1.6 Development of a training course for authorities or other responsible organizations

Task 6.2: Development of health communication tools and methods for behavior change, focusing on individuals as well as specific groups.

Leader: UA & Trinity College, 2 PhDs foreseen (M6-M59)

This task will research the potential determinants affecting radiation risk behaviour with regard to radon: knowledge ((not)knowing what to do), attitudes ((not)being in favour of doing these actions), self-efficacy ((not) feeling able to undertake these actions), subjective norm ((not)having the perception that others are in favour of these actions or actually also undertaking these actions), perceived (in)vulnerability and perceived (in)effectiveness of the measures. The role of broader socio-political, economic and cultural contexts will also be studied. Theory-based behavioural change methods and strategies will be selected and concretized in communication materials. These materials will be tested (formative evaluation + efficacy test) in a laboratory setting, before they will be used and evaluated in field studies. Finally, recommendations for their large-scale implementation in radon areas and NORM exposure situations will be formulated.

This task will contain 5 sub-tasks:

  • Subtask 6.2.1 Establish the target behaviours and their most important determinants for affected population groups and specific stakeholders,
  • Subtask 6.2.2 Mapping the behavioural change methods
  • Subtask 6.2.3 Development of communication tools
  • Subtask 6.2.4 Testing different components of the communication on effectiveness
  • Subtask 6.2.5 Formulation of recommendations for implementation in radon and NORM communication strategies

Task 6.3: The establishment of a citizen science incubator for radon prone areas and establish a network of citizen science projects to address radon testing

Leader: EPA & MERIENCE, NMBU, other partners: all (M1-M59)

This task will provide the model and support for interested local communities and regions in citizen science projects in the field of radon. A model for citizen science (training resources, general tools, guidelines and materials) will be developed and tested in Ireland, France, Romania and Norway. Afterwards, local communities in high radon prone areas in EU countries and Norway will be invited to apply for funding to conduct a citizen science program in their community. A minimum of two regions will be selected based on criteria related to feasibility and sustainability of the proposed program. Resources for the selected communities to conduct citizen science activities will be allocated. Additionally, crowdsourcing will be stimulated (e.g. personal contribution for measurement or mitigation).

This task will contain 3 subtasks:

  • Subtask 6.3.1 Start-up and test of a citizen science model (“incubator”) for radon measurement and mitigation actions. and tested of the incubator in Ireland, France, Romania and Norway.
  • Subtask 6.3.2 Establish a network of citizen science projects through open calls from RadoNorm
  • Subtask 6.3.3 Develop recommendations for empowering citizen science initiatives related to radon exposure

Task 6.4: Addressing communication and governance challenges in specific exposure situations

Leader: SCK•CEN & AGES, PhD foreseen (M1-M59)

This task will investigate how to improve practical measures in view of the effective radiation protection of people and the environment: to sensitize radon issues in the geothermal energy sector; to address apparent controversies regarding radon as treatment in spas” and radon as threat in health communication campaigns; to address societal and marketing challenges related to NORM for building material.

This task will have 3 subtasks:

  • Subtask 6.4.1 Investigating geothermal energy with a focus on risk perception, socio-political and economic effects of radon exposure
  • Subtask 6.4.2 Studying of societal challenges of NORM for building materials,
  • Subtask 6.4.3 Investigating and addressing risk perception phenomena of radon spas

Task 6.5 Consolidated and robust science-based policy recommendations

Leader: SCK•CEN (M6-M59)

This task will develop policy oriented guidelines and recommendations to address societal aspects of radon and NORM exposure situations

  • Subtask 6.5.1 Policy oriented guidelines and recommendations to address societal aspects of radon and NORM exposure situations
  • Subtask 6.5.2 Strategic research agenda for social science and humanities for the radiation protection from Radon and NORM